The Last Song

December 15, 2007
By Hannah Beerman, South Nyack, NY

As the red stains of the last bomb blast
Permeate a world turned purple
A place where every citizen has been cast
To forever fight, as sentenced, a war eternal.

Three thousand and seven reads the calendar yet,
As textbooks teach these children, of the millennium anew.
Proving our planet remains aflame, an ash covered stub, a lit cigarette,
And with the smoke of burnt families, governments, and soldiers true,
Songs of hope, peace and protest have perished too.

With each bullet freed from its hot metal cocoon,
Another melody of peace and power
Is murdered in her mother’s fertile womb.
And so with every passing hour
The last of the world’s music, lies lost, found in an open tomb.

I see her ashen majesty now, lingering among the trees,
Atop a flaking branch, shrouded in dry brown leaves.
Covered in hopes of a future ahead,
I have not unearthed a creature, a human, or even a concept
But found the last song in the world, instead.

Perhaps this holy hymn, can prove the vessel through which to save us
Through the forgotten strengths of melody, lyric and word,
Replacing endless armies with messages of peace, reigning ubiquitous.

The tree’s trunk raises from the ground, and only five branches grow
Each one leading up to the song,
I am the one who must save her from the horrors below.
Is an impossible task to tackle alone,
And the five branches signify, I cannot save her own my own.

I run to the base of the tall tree’s trunk,
Looking for branches and twigs to help me climb.
The song remains trapped; we’re running out of time.
I pray that others see her too,
I pray that we can save her tune.

Determined to rescue the last song in the world,
And find those able to write, the one last melody,
I throw my body to the foot of the tree, and close my eyes
Calling my name, I hear a voice “I see her too,” quietly.

I turn and see Ludwig van Beethoven, approaching the tree aloft
Few words escape his mumbling, he is incomprehensible, his hearing long lost.
The composer of the sweetest symphonies ever known
Sees the song high atop the tree, and I am no longer alone.
At a mere 5 feet and 3 inches from the burnt grass,
He stands a powerful and tortured soul, his character brass.
Disheveled waves of thick silver, cascade around his wrinkled face
As he stands now with body stout and eyes ablaze.
Together we know we will reach the top of the tree so high,
Rescue the world’s last song and bring her down from the sky.
Our green eyes meet, and in them I find
The hours of scribbling music, he will never hear outside his mind.
A man dressed in deep reds and blues, vests and coats
Haunted by demons, as the greatest music of all time, he boasts.
He spends his days crouched over a small wooden desk
Lit by candle, holding feather tipped pens, posture all but statuesque.
He indulges in food, and storms of frustration
A world of internal noise, never lacking inspiration.
Love unrequited for women unobtainable,
Have left the musician lonely, his broken heart explainable.

A strong wind, from the powerful bullets ahead,
Shift his silver locks away from this dark head.
His green eyes glistening as he lifts a leather bound shoe,
Tretching onward towards the song, in dangerous view.
He reaches the first branch safely, and with a net in his pocket
He plans to capture the song, put it a golden box, and lock it.

A voice from the branch above shouts down,
The deaf man extends his vertebrae and looks around.
“Throw the net up here, hound dog, I’ve already reached branch number two
His hair greased up, and body clad in tight white, covered in jewels.
Ludwig complies and hurls his net up to the king,
Where Elvis Presley is waiting, the last song he wants to sing.
Thick leather platform shoes resting upon the second branch extended,
He opens his hands and catches the net, just as intended.
One step closer to salvaging the song,
One step closer to saving a world, suffering from wars prolonged.
His thick handsome nose, his small twinkling eyes
Lips fuller than the ocean,
Women love him, without compromise.
At an altitude of six feet, Elvis has lived a life of indulgence and praise
Had his way with woman and drugs,
Credited with starting the rock and roll age.
His hip-shake made him famous, and teenage girls swoon
His guitar was always by his side
Morning, evening and noon.
His voice was deep, and figure thick,
Began to loath his life, wished time would tick.
He married a woman named Priscilla, had a daughter named Marie
Experienced success throughout America
A complete sensation across the country.
The King created music, millions of Americans will love forever
He yearns to add meaning to his success, and so he chose this endeavor.
As he reaches toward the song still hidden, his eyes meet a pair of specs
Resting upon the nose of the third branch’s occupant, John Lennon, no less.

“Throw Ludwig’s net to me young lad,” you can’t climb any higher,
“I have already reached the third branch,
To end the wars, and rescue the last song, I desire.”
The king submits, and passes up the net,
Lennon catches it and smiles, looking down at his silhouette.
John is known for his songs of protest, words of peace and harmony,
Although cynics label him idealistic,
Lennon stands determined to conquer the tree.
He knows the power of a simple bar or phrase
For with his many songs, inspired Americans to change their ways.
His thin British nose, and deep brown eyes,
Are home to thin round spectacles, covering a thousand tears cried.
He is older now, days of pop stardom past,
His hair has grown out fully, his admirers vast.
His chest bears an amulet, a circle, triangle and line,
Representing a dream almost lost,
But the hidden song had cried out for him too, a sign.
His outfits range from the simple to experimental,
Open minded to all things, but to destruction, judgmental.
Married to an artist, father to a son
Grew up a poor musician in England,
His love to cause a stir was never outdone.
Atop album covers he dressed in black and white, or nothing at all,
Preached freedom for everyone, protested town hall.
Now dressed in a suit all white, hair a mess and beard to match,
Lennon extends his pale arm forward reaching toward the fourth tree branch.

Atop it rests a thick woman of dark descent,
She was once a street singer, but violence proved to be her torment.
She has been hiding in an untapped forest for many years now,
For she has nothing at all to sing, all songs have perished, out they’ve bowed.
She was the first of the group to whom the song had cried,
She was the poorest and least well known,
The song had chosen her, for it knew she could never deny.
Lennon passed the net onto her, as atop the fourth branch she stood in pride,
She had managed to climb the highest of her accidental teammates,
She was basking in her prime.
She was a short woman, just beneath the five-foot mark,
Her soul was pure light, her skin was dark.
Her mother was a poor soul singer, her father a soldier killed,
Spent her life writing songs of unity and togetherness
For the void the wars left in her could never be filled.
She spent her life on the cobblestone streets,
Found always improvising melodies, lyrics and beats.
Finally the tragic day arrived,
When she could no longer sing, for all songs had died.
Her musical repertoire now considered only of shots, bangs, and screams,
What was once a method of escape, forced her to live among the trees.
She ran as far she could, landed in a vast forest green,
Lived there while the war raged on, never to be seen.
Her heavy set figure, her big brown eyes,
Needed only to surmount the single branch above to reach her prize.
The fifth and final branch, upon which her majesty lay,
Was to far from the singer’s short grasp.
She yelled down to the musicians resting on the branches below
“I cannot reach the world’s last song alone, we need a another fellow!”
The only character left was me
A fifteen year old high-schooler, who’d been sought out by the tree.
I stood at the trunks feet, looking upward in fear,
The future of our world was upon my shoulders,
I couldn’t back out, that was clear.
I stretched my pale white body, to Ludwig, offered him my hand
He passed me up to Elvis, then to Lennon, then singer
Sweating from each and every gland,
The dirt in my blonde hair still lingers.
She hoisted me up to the fifth and final branch, soon to come the eve
I crouched down upon the twig and parted the thick brown leaves.

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